Nu Skin's Galvanic Spa System - A Skeptic's Review
September 01, 2009 - Linda Grasso
I’m a beauty product skeptic. After doing a fair bit of reading, consulting with dermatologists, and studying the Oil of Olay moisturized, practically wrinkle-free face of my 93-year-old grandmother, I’ve sworn off the beautifully packaged expensive stuff. I’ve got some Renova that I occasionally use along with some cheap Aveeno moisturizer – but that’s it. Suffice to say when a girlfriend of mine announced she’d become a Nu Skin distributor, my honest to God first thought was "yeech. this sounds a little like that freaky Amway company." But her complete and utter passion for their Galvanic Spa System home facial system was attention getting. Printed promotional materials for the product claim the hand-held device and accompanying gels can rejuvenate the complexion, reduce body cellulite and stimulate hair growth. My curiosity was particularly piqued when she told me that it erases wrinkles right before your eyes with just one session. She offered to do half my face – so I could do a comparison myself. What have you got to lose I thought?
However, driving to the appointment, I was a bit nervous. What if I didn’t see a difference? Would I have to pull my best Julia Roberts so I wouldn’t hurt her feelings (I've done this before)? Or would I just be honest and kindly suggest she get her eyes checked? In my skeptic mind, this was a lose-lose situation and I was anxious to get it over with. Her claim simply could not be true.
Before we get to my treatment, a word on how the home spa system apparently works. Nu Skin claims that negatively charged Galvanic action from the machine repels the negatively charged “Pretreat Gel” into the skin. Next the Galvanic device is charged positively thus drawing the “Pretreat Gel” and impurities out. Finally, a second gel that’s applied, described as “positively charged gel”, drives beneficial ingredients “plus Age Loc” deep into the skin. What does all that mean? I have no idea. But the weirdest thing is it worked!
Debra, my Nu Skin friend facialist, basically applied two gels to half of my face and then ran the pulsating machine over it. The device looks essentially like an electric razor with three attachments – for face, scalp and body. The whole procedure took about ten minutes. Afterwards, we went outside (better light) to compare the side of my face that had had the treatment, with the side that was not treated. I was shocked to discover the wrinkles around my eyes, forehead and between my mouth and nose were noticeably reduced. The difference between the right and left sides of my face was, in fact, jarring. I stopped in at a friend’s house on the way home to see if she noticed a difference and the first thing she said when she saw me was, “Wow, did you get some bad Botox? Your face is drooping on one side.” She pointed to the untreated half of my face. Not exactly what I want to hear after a facial, but a testimonial to the product's effectiveness nevertheless!
So, bottom line: the procedure definitely works. However, as with all beauty treatments, there are some negatives. First off, at $350 for the device and 60$/month for the gels, it ain't cheap. Plus, you have to use the system every three days to maintain the look. I spoke to three women who bought the system this past year and only one is still using it – occasionally. One got sick of the time investment, the other got sick of shelling out for the gels. The gal who's still using it says she likes to do a treatment when she has a special occasion and wants to really perk herself up. So, would I buy this product myself? Honestly, it's not for me right now. But if the economy was better, and I was anticipating my 20 year high school reunion, rather than reflecting upon it, I just might.
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